A UK coffee supplier has described new research assessing the viability of converting waste coffee grounds into energy as “revolutionary” and “invaluable”.
Coffee Compass, which provides coffee from environmentally conscious sources, has praised the research undertaken at the University of Cincinnati, which found that waste coffee grounds could be a source of biofuel if removed of oils and then dried.
Estimates suggest that millions of tonnes of coffee end up being sent to landfill each year, and a Coffee Compass spokesperson has spoken of the research project’s importance in developing a method of utilising a previously under-valued material.
“Biodiesel is many times more environmentally friendly than standard petroleum diesel. The more biodiesel we can use the more we can limit the emission of carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses”
The spokesperson said: “This could be revolutionary. The researchers found that waste coffee grounds could be used for energy sources like activated carbon and biodiesel. At the moment the bulk of waste coffee grounds are sent to landfills – it’s an absolute waste. Coffee is massive business and the benefits from utilising coffee grounds for energy could be invaluable.
“The fuel extracted from waste coffee grounds is called biodiesel. Biodiesel is many times more environmentally friendly than standard petroleum diesel. The more biodiesel we can use the more we can limit the emission of carbon monoxide and other harmful gasses. Everybody stands to benefit from this. It’s particularly good news for coffee sellers like us because we can strengthen our ethical approach to supplying coffee beans and machines.
“If we can start utilising waste coffee grounds as a fuel source then that’s an extra incentive to drink coffee, especially ethically sourced coffee from websites like our own. This news will prove to be a big shot in the arm for the British coffee scene, not to mention far reaching benefits for the global economy and environment.”